Oklahoma City Time Capsule Buried in 1913

While doing some research in Google Books, I found an item in the May 1913 issue of Santa Fe Employees' Magazine that described the burial of a 100-year time capsule: A unique service was held on April 22 at the Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City, Okla., when a copper chast containing phonograph records of speakers and singers, writings, musical compositions, daily newspapers and many other records of current events was buried. It is to remain intact until the year 2013, when it will be opened ... (read more)

Remember Friedrich Franz III No More

Less than two weeks after she became the world's oldest person, Dina Manfredini died Monday at the age of 115 years and 257 days. Manfredini had been living at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, Iowa. Born in Pievepelago, Italy, on April 4, 1897, Manfredini became the oldest Italian and oldest immigrant who ever lived. She emigrated from Italy to Des Moines, Iowa, in 1920 with her husband Riccardo and raised four children, working at an ammunition factory during World War II and ... (read more)

Last Note for Brahms and the Year 1896

The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper, died Tuesday at a nursing home in Monroe, Ga. "She got up this morning, had a big old breakfast and got her hair fixed," said her son Sidney, 77. Cooper lived 116 years and 100 days, which made her the eighth oldest person ever among documented supercentenarians. She was a schoolteacher until 1929, when she left to start a family. All four of her children survive her. Twenty four years old when women got the right to vote in 1920, Cooper only missed two ... (read more)

Dumb Reasons to Form Your Political Beliefs

A reader to National Review Online says that he became a conservative because of how his fellow college students at Kent State University responded to President Reagan's shooting: I came back to my dorm to see the TV lounges filled with students fervently wishing for the president not to survive the surgery. The worst of will was being expressed toward "Ronnie Ray-gun," to use just one of the epithets. Right then, I knew that, whatever side I belonged on, it wasn't the one where people ... (read more)

No One Left Who Recalls Life Before Football

The world's oldest living person, Kama Chinen of Okinawa, Japan, died Sunday, just a week before her 115th birthday. Her family did not release any details, but Chinen had been spending her final years at a nursing home in Nanjo. She lived to be 114 years and 357 days old. Japan has a high percentage of the world's supercentenarians, people who've lived for over 100 years, and many of them are from Okinawa like Chinen. A Japanese government report in September tallied more than 40,000 Japanese ... (read more)

World's Oldest Man: 'Life is Short'

Walter Breuning, the world's oldest man at 113 years, gave a pretty amazing birthday speech Monday at the Montana retirement home where he lives: Life begins each morning whether we have succeeded or failed or just muddled along. Life is a school to learn, not to unlearn. Life is the creation by God and if you would know God, be not a solver of riddles. Look about you and you shall see him playing with your children. Look into the air and you shall see him walking in the clouds, out-stretching ... (read more)

World's Oldest Person Dies, Takes 1894 With Her

Gertude Baines died yesterday at the age of 115 years and 148 days. She was the world's oldest person and the 16th oldest ever, according to a cool table prepared by longevity geeks on Wikipedia. Baines, born April 6, 1894, was the grandchild of slaves who worked as a maid at Ohio State University dorms until her retirement to a Los Angeles nursing home a decade ago. She was a non-drinker and non-smoker who once told a reporter, "I did not have a lot of fun as an adult but I enjoyed going to ... (read more)

Scott Rosenberg's 'Say Everything' Covers Blogs and 9/11

I'm currently reading Scott Rosenberg's Say Everything, his new history of blogging that digs deeply into the origins of the medium and why it has become so successful. Rosenberg, a founder of Salon.Com and an online acquaintance of mine for many years, has written a fascinating book that begins with chapters on early web diarists and bloggers such as Justin Hall, Jorn Barger and Joshua Marshall. The introduction to Rosenberg's book centers on how bloggers covered the 9/11 attacks, an important ... (read more)

Do Svidaniya, Tchaikovsky and the Year 1893

Maria de Jesus of Portugal died earlier this year, relinquishing the title of world's oldest known person at 115 years and 114 days. Born Sept. 10, 1893, de Jesus was a farm worker from age 12 who never learned to read or write, ate a vegeterian diet and outlived her husband by 57 years. Perhaps the most amazing facet of her longevity was that she got to know six great-great-grandchildren. The death of de Jesus makes the oldest person Gertrude Baines, an American supercentenarian living in a ... (read more)

World's Oldest Person Dies (Again)

One of the best jobs I ever had was working weekends on the state desk at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram during the late '80s. I took calls from correspondents across North Texas, wrote spot-news stories and spent the other 98 percent of my time reading everything on the news wire. That job had a lot in common with publishing the Drudge Retort today, with the notable exception that you once needed a journalism job to gorge on an all-you-can-eat buffet of wire stories. When you read news for too ... (read more)